This is a warning for anyone who has ever bought resale and usage rights for templates, artwork or image packs. Ignore it at you peril.
I’m pretty angry right now and I can’t name names because of legal issues (mores the pity) but the bottom line is that there are some ‘marketers’ out there who are acting illegally and you and me are the ones that will end up paying.
These ‘marketers’ provide you, me (and whoever else) with packages to use or resell as our own. These packages contain images that are in fact licensed by another company and these ‘marketers’ don’t actually have the right to even use them. Let alone sell them or give them away. And don’t get me started on what will happen if you actually sell a licensed image. Even by mistake.
How does it cost you money?
Apparently the laws concerning intellectual property, copyright and licensing makes NO allowance. The person who displays or uses a licensed image has to pay a fee. Even if they have paid for usage or resale ‘rights’ to anyone other than the actual license holder. Let me tell you that these fees are thousands of dollars PER image.
In my case (and many of you reading), I would NEVER knowingly use an image that belonged to someone else or I didn’t believe I have the rights to use. I thought that when you paid for something you had the rights. Well … that is wrong.
I started going through some of the template, PLR and other ‘rights’ packages I’ve bought since 2002. Not many, just 14. And then I stopped because out of those 14 that I checked, 9 of them contained images or PARTS of images that I have now seen available for licensing.
I’ve seen them as individual graphics, header graphics and even in book covers. What this means is that I can’t use this artwork because if I do, I’m at risk of being asked to pay substantial sums of money and so are you.
How did it happen?
Assuming that these ‘marketers’ didn’t deliberatly or knowingly break the law, I can only imagine this problem started with people who put together ‘clipart’ packs back in 2003 and maybe even before that.
- The original sinners scraped together images from here and there, bundled the images together and offered these ‘packs’ for sale with dubious claims and copy about what they could be used for.
- Other people then bought them and created derivative products.
- Later still, other people bought the derivative products, which now had additional claimed ‘rights’ and they used them. Either selling them as is or creating even more derivative products.
- Then … other people started giving away the derivatives of the derivative containing the original images which brings us to today.
What’s The Bottom Line.
Unless you have a REAL license [from the ORIGINAL rights holder] and if you use or display any PART of of a licensed image. YOU may end up having to pay thousands of dollars.
What’s the answer?
Short of deleting every product that ‘may’ be affected, just in case (and that’s lots). I’m not 100% sure. All I know for sure is that I won’t be buying any more rights packages until the marketers prove to my satisfaction that everything is 100% legal.
What’s more, I want to start seeing the better marketers do more than give me a money back guarantee. I want to see marketers guarantee that they will pay my fees and costs if they screw up. In an ideal world a change in the law is needed to protect the end user in cases like this but I can’t see that happening.
I can’t see this problem going away either and with technological advances in scanning images and text, it is getting easier for the big companies who actually hold the rights to find the ‘end user’ (you and me) and take action against them.
Their attitude is simple:
‘All though we want to get to the root of the problem you used the image. Therefore you must pay us. It’s up to you to take action against the person you got it from and for them to take action against the people they got it from.
We don’t care (and neither it appears does the law) that you paid someone something. The fact is you don’t have a license to use it from us. Please pay us now’
If you have an answer or more information?
please make a comment.